Now that Ted Cruz and John Kasich have dropped out, Trump is truly the Republican Party's presumptive presidential nominee. (VCU CNS / Flickr)
The craziness of #Election2016 continued last night with the Indiana primary. We should have learned to basically expect the unexpected at this point ... but the results still managed to shock everyone.
In spite of a #StopTrump alliance between Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich, Trump steamrolled the competition in Indiana, flying closer to being the official Republican nominee. As a result, the Republican party lost its best chance at denying Trump the nomination--Cruz suspended his campaign last night and Kasich announced plans to do the same this morning.
So barring any potential huge developments at the Republican Party convention, last night pretty much solidified that Trump will be the nominee. Let's break down what happened.
1. Trump won big in Indiana
Even after Ted Cruz basically lived in Indiana for the two weeks before the primary, Trump still blew him out of the water with more than 50% of the vote. Trump's win adds another 51 delegates to his count, bringing his total to 1053 delegates out of 1237 needed to win the nomination.
This was a major blow for Cruz, who had been counting on a win in Indiana to up his delegate count and increase his chances of being able to force a contested convention in the summer.
But really, Cruz was fighting a losing battle in Indiana. From four beloved Indiana college basketball coaches endorsing Trump to Cruz's failed attempt at debating with Donald Trump supporters...
His campaign in the Hoosier State seemed doomed from the start.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders also pulled out a win. Despite the incredibly slim odds of winning the nomination, Sanders refuses to quit.
2. Cruz "suspended" his campaign ... AKA dropped out
Cruz, on the other hand, has bowed out.
After his loss in Indiana, Cruz announced on Tuesday night that he was suspending his campaign for president.
This wasn't a very obvious move.
For awhile, Cruz and his campaign really thought they had a chance, especially after his big win in Wisconsin. Fundraising was up and there was a real possibility that a contested convention could actually happen.
The #AmtrakPrimary halted his campaign's momentum on a dime. After Cruz lost every single state, his campaign was counting on a win in Indiana. He even started that awkward alliance with Kasich to try and make sure he won, and it still didn't work.
So Cruz exited stage left.
He had one more awkward moment, though--accidentally elbowing his wife in the face as he went in for a hug.
3. And the GOP nominee for President is ... Donald Trump
No one thought this would happen when he first announced his campaign. HuffPo even said they'd cover his campaign in the entertainment section. And yet Donald Trump is the only person who can possibly have enough delegates to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States.
Trump called for party unity at his victory event in Manhattan and praised Ted Cruz--interesting, seeing as he had just implied that Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of JFK the same morning.
There's literally no evidence of that, by the way.
Trump is now going to have to start shifting gears to get ready for the general election, where he will more than likely face Hillary Clinton. He's already started his attacks on her. Looking ahead to West Virginia's primary, a state with a lot of blue collar mine workers, Trump dug up Clinton's March comments about how she'd put coal companies out of business. More generally, he's saying that she'd make an awful president.
The initial international reaction to Trump as nominee hasn't been favorable--time will only tell how that changes as we move into the general election.
4. #NeverTrump and #RepublicansforHillary take over Twitter
So Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. But that doesn't mean that Republican leaders are happy about it.
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, tried to call for unity after last night's events:
But his fellow Republicans are having none of it.
(Salter worked on Senator John McCain's presidential campaign when he ran against Barack Obama.)
Zip. Nada. None.
If playing the Hillary card makes me a bad Republican but means voting against sexism, bigotry, and racism, then deal me in. #NeverTrump
— Derrick (@GOPDerrick) May 4, 2016
Fox News even ran an opinion piece on why Republicans who back Trump won't ever be trusted again.
GOP Congressional leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan also have tough decisions to make. Will they support Donald Trump or distance themselves from him? After all, we're not just voting on the President in November--there are Congressional seats up for grabs, too.
It's far too early to tell if the #NeverTrump campaign will gain enough steam to turn the tide in Clinton's favor during the general election. Clinton still has to win over independents and Bernie supporters, and Trump is definitely not going to hold back on the attacks.
Plus, if there's anything we've learned from this election so far, it's not to underestimate the people's support of Donald Trump.
This article was written by Lauren Wethers and originally appeared on Kicker. Kicker explains the most important, compelling things going on in the world and empowers you to get in the know, make up your own mind, and take action. For more, check out the Kicker site, like their Facebook page, or subscribe to their email newsletter.